Individual Volunteer from the Philippines

By Rev. Walter A. Whitehurst
Consultant for Individual Volunteers

Modesta Kalaw of Tarlac City, Philippines is the first volunteer from another country sponsored by the Mission Volunteers Program Area of the General Board of Global Ministries to serve as an individual volunteer in the USA.

Ms. Kalaw is the mother of seven children, ages six to 19. A deaconess in The United Methodist Church, she is an elementary and pre-school teacher at the Tarlac Ecumenical School.

She was granted a leave of absence to do missionary work in the Florida Conference under the supervision of Tom Griner, conference coordinator for United Methodist Volunteers In Mission.

Her period of service is from January 10 through April 2, 2001. The first half of her time was spent in Miami, assisting in the "Growing Place" pre-school of the First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables, and at the Wesley Foundation of the University of Miami, where she helped to distribute tracts and the Upper Room devotional booklet on campus and participated in the weekly Bible study.
                                                                                                 Walter and Modesta at the University of Miami

The second half of her stay in Florida is in Leesburg, where she works with children and adults in the Carver Heights Ministry. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with toddlers because her school in the Philippines plans to begin a program for that age group, and she is gaining experience and knowledge to share with her school when she returns.

In evaluating her mission, Modesta wrote, "The more I come closer to God and depend on his love and protection, I become more sensitive to the needs of the least of my brothers and sisters around me. My faith was strengthened through my daily meditation, reading my Bible and constant prayer."

The Individual Volunteer program of the General Board of Global Ministries currently has approximately 50 volunteers (single persons and married couples) who serve from two months to two years in many parts of the world, including the USA. They serve at their own expense or by raising funds from their local congregation, family and friends.

Although most individual volunteers are from the USA, a growing number are from other countries. For example, a couple from Chile is currently serving in La Paz, Bolivia. Candidates from other countries are in the process of being approved for volunteer service.

For more information about the Individual Volunteer program, contact Walt and Betty Whitehurst, Consultants for Individual Volunteers, 1761 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, tel. (757) 426-2461, e-mail: IndVol@aol.com.                                                                    (March 9, 2001)

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